10 novembro 2011

Review: Shut Out (Kody Keplinger)

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Publisher:  Poppy (2011)
Format: Hardcover | 273 pages
Genre(s): Romance, Young Adult
Description (GR): "Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention

Then Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling...
"Shut Out" is a quick, easy read just like "The DUFF", Keplinger's first novel was.

Kody Keplinger tries her hand at writing a modern, teen version of the Greek play "Lysistrata" by Aristophanes with her new novel.

The main character is Lissa Daniels, girlfriend of the quarterback of the football team. Except in her school there isn't only a football team... there's also a soccer team. And they've been at each other's throats forever. So Lissa decides to take action and she and the other players' girlfriends decide to withhold sex until the rivalry is over.

Like I said before I enjoyed this book. I liked the fact that the author managed to tackle an important issue: sex in high school, how differently boys and girls view it and are treated. This matter is handled in a rather obvious manner as the girls get together, talk and basically rehash all the ideas that usually form the core of teen mentality on sex (and of many adults as well, unfortunately). Keplinger exposes the double standard existent in our society concerning sex and gender.
Of course, like I said, the author is 'obvious' about it but I think it's important to pass the message and this is a teen book after all, so the fact that she isn't exactly 'subtle' didn't bother me very much.

Sex and gender issues aside, "Shut Out" is basically a teen romance with all the stereotypes that come with the genre: the jerk boyfriend, the sexy hero (here named Cash Sterling which is as bad as Griffin King, really) and the torn heroine. Misunderstandings and lust ensue.

The characters were pretty much stereotypes and weren't particularly well developed.

Overall, "Shut Out" was a fun, quick read that uncovers the views and prejudices of our modern, supposedly equal society concerning sex. This is explored in a light manner but it still makes an important point: that when we talk about sex there is no normal, no definite rules and that the double standard is actually upheld by both men and most women due mostly to education and wrongful perpetuation of old values. It's not exactly a subtle, layered book but it entertains and tries to address an important subject and that has some merit.
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